Grizzly bears are emerging from hibernation in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Hikers, skiers and snowshoers are advised to stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail, and carry bear spray.

According to a news release, the first confirmed reports of grizzly bear activity in the Park were on March 4. Guides and visitors observed and photographed a grizzly bear along the road in the Hayden Valley area.The first black bear of the year was observed on February 11 near the south end of the park.

Bears begin looking for food soon after they emerge from their dens. Carcasses are an important enough food source that bears will sometimes react aggressively when surprised while feeding on them.

Yellowstone regulations require visitors to stay 100 yards from black and grizzly bears at all times.

Visitors are also reminded to keep food, garbage, barbecue grills and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.